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Human Development in Crisis


  • Pedro Conceicao

    (Office of Development Studies - UNDP)

  • Namsuk Kim

    (Office of Development Studies - UNDP)

  • Ronald Mendoza

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

  • Yanchun Zhang

    (Office of Development Studies - UNDP File URL:


Is a dramatic slowdown in global economic growth going to erase much for the progress in the last decade in terms of human development in the developing world? How might the crisis affect progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals? To address these questions, this paper contributes in three ways. First, it briefly reviews the empirical literature and outlines the possible transmission of the crisis from the broader global economy to the national economy, and eventually to households, children and women. Second, it summarizes some of the emerging accounts from the field based on reports and interviews of poor people, suggesting that households -- and in particular children and women -- face severe strain as the crisis has begun to unfold. A third contribution is an empirical analysis of the historical relationhip between episodes of growth accelerations and decelerations with country level aggregate indicators of human development (e.g., life expectancy, infant and under-five mortality and school enrollment), using data covering the period between 1980 and 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Conceicao & Namsuk Kim & Ronald Mendoza & Yanchun Zhang, 2009. "Human Development in Crisis," Working papers 0903, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
  • Handle: RePEc:uce:wpaper:0903

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    Cited by:

    1. Serap Bedir, 2015. "The Asymmetric Impact of Growth Fluctuation on Human Development," Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, Eurasian Publications, vol. 3(2), pages 24-34.
    2. Andy Sumner & Joe Ballantyne & Andrew Curry, 2010. "What Are The Implications of The Global Crisis and its Aftermath for Developing Countries, 2010-2020?," Working Papers 68, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    3. Caroline Harper & Nicola Jones & Andy McKay, 2010. "Including Children in Policy Responses to Economic Crises," Working papers 1003, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    4. Andrey Ivanov & Mihail Peleah, 2010. "From centrally planned development to human development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-38, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    5. Ronald Mendoza & Ronald, 2010. "Inclusive Crises, Exclusive Recoveries, and Policies to Prevent a Double Whammy for the Poor," Working papers 1004, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.


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